Little Miss and I were burning a few hours out of the house while the amazing Erica (Aka: the cleaning angel that visits my home twice a month and works magic on my mess) did her angel thing with my kitchen and bathrooms. As usual, we ran a few errands and then happened upon the Chik-fil-a. We are not ideological in our love for Chik-fil-a, we are practical lovers of Chik-fil-a. They make this mommy feel important. In fact, so many kid friendly Restaurants could take a few non ideological cues from our friends at Chik-fil- a.
- They are insanely patient as my kids learn to order their own “chicken and chocolate” – Millie’s code for a Chicken kids meal with Chocolate Milk.
- They don’t make me wait. They take my order, give me a number and send me off to my table. There, the contained toddler can be her friendly self without bolting for the door.
- They refill my lemonade without having to leave my booth with child in tow and thus risking a tray flip or escape.
- The play place is clean, like all the time clean. A much closer indoor play place (that will not be McMentioned) ALWAYS smells like pee and feet. The Chik-fil-a play place, it smells like heaven. *sigh
- They just understand mommas in yoga pants and kiddos.
- My Pleasure! I really think it is.
While we were at the lovely Chik fil a, we made a wash your hands stop. HELLO – STEP STOOL IN THE BATHROOM! My independent Millie did a great job dropping the step stool, turning on the water and pumping the soap. She activated the automatic paper towel dispenser and beamed with pride when it gave her what she wanted. She tore the paper towel and immediately another appeared. She took it and another came out, and she took it. Then another and another until she had handfuls of paper towel. She turns to me with an overwhelmed expression and hands me a giant handful of paper towel. Then turns back to the machine, which has produced yet another paper towel, and tears it again.
I was puzzled, she was puzzled, and it was obviously not the fun that was keeping her there.
Me: Millie, I think you have enough, why are you getting more towels?
Millie: They just keep coming out for me.
Me: Maybe they are for someone else?
Millie: No, I’m here they are for me! and she tears another.
Eventually the line of 3 year olds waiting to wash their hands and the gigantic wad of paper towel overwhelmed us. We shared our towels with everyone in the bathroom and then we moved on.
As she was playing in the nice smelling and clean play place, I reflected on that simple experience. How often do opportunities stare me right in the face and seem to offer themselves only to me. How often do I just assume they are just for me, so I take them? (Hello Sunday School teacher) And then comes another (Room Parent), so I take it, and another (Small Group leader) and another (classroom volunteer) and another (Neighborhood watch captain). Soon, my hands are full, literally and figuratively, of opportunities. I cannot hold another thing, I stop and search for someone to hand it off too, or simply to bury myself under it and hope it disappears.
Maybe today there was an opportunity staring me in the face. An opportunity to recognize that there are other people in line just waiting. Some of them are waiting for the very opportunities that I thought were just for me. Others might be waiting for me to share my overwhelming opportunities (burdens) with them. Perhaps we need to step off the stool share the wealth and head over to the play place. Maybe we would all be a little happier/healthier there.